LUKE Slattery recognised the fundamental reality of schooling, 80 per cent socialisation and 20 per cent education (“Our higher education debate should be about values, not just costs”, 26/12).
He shifted this paradigm to university, writing that in the US, “the university curriculum is, in the first instance, about elite character formation . . . the kind of leaders we want.” That really seems a bit late to be establishing a sense of values.
He approved of the overhaul by the “the universities of Melbourne and Western Australia (of) their curriculums to align them with the American pattern of general undergraduate education followed by a professional focus in the second degree.”
The US education system is traditionally a year or two behind ours. The British system is a year ahead of ours. Its matriculation year, the A-level exams, equates to our first-year university. And our Asian neighbours and competitors such as Malaysia and Singapore are not following the American model.
Gary J. Wilson, MacGregor, ACT. More...